A family that skis together stays together! And it’s never too early to get kids to the slopes. I said to the slopes, not necessarily on the slopes. I’ve had so much fun bringing my two young kids skiing, but I know first-hand the logistics, planning and packing that go into a successful, fun, family ski day with kids that can barely walk, never mind ski or snowboard.I’m combining my best practices with great ideas from other ski moms to bring you the top must-haves to keep the kids entertained in the lodge while you (or your partner) get in some runs.
Several favorite books (that aren’t too large to schlep around) will come in handy if you need something to hold their attention or wind them down if it’s nearing nap time in the lodge. I’ll also lump a wide variety of coloring/drawing books/pads into this category. These give little kids a “blank page” to put their imagination down on paper and create a keepsake the whole family can marvel over later.
I’m not suggesting you bring the entire playroom, but a couple of open-ended toys can keep small kids busy longer than we think. Open-ended toys are things like cars, dolls, and Magna-tiles; they have endless ways for kids to play with them, further encourage imagination and help them process different situations.
*My son and a friend at Snow Park Park Lodge at Deer Valley Resort. Always more fun and easier (?) to post up with friends or other families with kids - they can play with each other.
MAKE EVERYTHING A GAME
The ABC game can be fun and educational. Encourage your little ones to name things they see around them that start with each letter of the alphabet. F for fries. C for cookie. H for hot cocoa. You get the idea. And when it’s time to go, make cleaning up your space a fun game too (and incentivize with a treat).
Just because they may be too young to do any actual skiing, they’re never too young to enjoy the elements. Spend as much time as weather and attention spans allow playing in the snow outside the lodge, use mommy or daddy’s poles to draw in the snow, or just let them wobble around in ski boots to get them used it.
It goes without saying that if all else fails, the tablet or cell phone always works in a pinch. They can watch their favorite show, listen to music, or play a kid-friendly game. With the beautiful mountains and views abound, I like to ensure screen time is an absolute last resort.
KEEP IT ORGANIZED
I throw it all into a backpack that's easy to carry (as you tote all the gear) and wear on the lift should you need to. One of my go-to packs is the Verte 18 from Gregory Mountain Products which was designed as an inbounds ski pack that is chairlift friendly.
Pro Tip – if your kid(s) are napping age, bring a water-resistant blanket (one side soft and fuzzy, the other side slick to repel moisture), so they have something soft to nap on. If you and your baby are up for it, bring a carrier to strap your mini in and both of you can take a run or walk outside!
*I have my kid strapped into an Ergo baby carrier and skiing a green run with him. They love the breeze and rhythmic turns.
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